News you may have missed #829

Raymond Allen DavisBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Irish police responds to claims of IRA collusion. For nearly two years, the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin, Ireland, has been hearing allegations that the Provisional Irish Republican Army had supporters inside the Garda Síochána, Irealand’s police force. This past week, the Garda’s Crime and Security Branch gave the Tribunal a 51-page response to the allegations. The tribunal said it “needed time to read the response” before holding another open session next week.
►►How CIA spy Raymond Davis helped turn Pakistan against the US. The New York Times‘ Mark Mazzetti has penned an excellent retrospective analysis of Raymond Allen Davis imbroglio. In 2011, the CIA contractor was arrested in Lahore for shooting dead two men who allegedly tried to rob him. Davis was only released after the US government offered monetary compensation to the families of the dead men. Mazzetti argues that the furor over the Davis incident threatened to shut down most CIA operations in Pakistan and derail the intelligence-gathering operation in Abbottabad.
►►New book explains CIA shift from spying to killing. Speaking of Mark Mazzetti, he has a new book out called The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth. In it, he explores the post-9/11 transformation of the CIA from its original mission –spying– to a facilitator of targeted killings for the Pentagon. He told National Public Radio that “the CIA has become a machine for killing in many ways. The counterterrorism center has become [...] the sort of beating heart of the agency that does man-hunting. And these question of ‘Should the CIA stay in the killing business?’ [...] is something that is unresolved but is certainly being discussed”.

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News you may have missed #604 (CIA edition)

Raymond Allen Davis

Raymond Davis

►►Aid agency leaves Pakistan following CIA vaccination scheme. Fears that a fake CIA vaccination scheme, created to hunt Osama bin Laden, has compromised the operations of aid agencies in Pakistan have intensified, after it emerged that Save the Children, a major NGO, was forced to evacuate its staff following warnings about their security.
►►CIA contractor arrested in car park brawl. A CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was freed by Pakistani authorities after the families of two men he killed in a shootout agreed to accept more than $2.34 million in blood money, has been arrested after a brawl over a car parking space, according to police in the US state of Colorado.
►►Judge approves secret evidence for CIA leak trial. A federal judge has ruled that prosecutors pursuing a leak case against former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling may use a controversial procedure known as the “silent witness rule” to present evidence to the jury that will not be seen by the public. Sterling is accused of leaking CIA secrets to New York Times journalist James Risen.

News you may have missed #486

  • Hundreds of US officials to leave Pakistan in Davis deal [unconfirmed]. Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune claims that 331 US officials in Pakistan have been identified by Islamabad as spies and are “to leave the country”, under a secret deal between Pakistan and the United States. The alleged deal was reportedly struck between the two sides as part of the release of Raymond Davis, a CIA operative who shot dead two people in Lahore.
  • Australian government unveils new spy legislation. The Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill, which has been unveiled by the Australian government, contains changes to the intelligence services and criminal code legislation designed to “improve the operational capabilities of key spy agencies“, according to the country’s Attorney-General.
  • Dutch military intelligence: closed on Sundays. A Dutch government-commissioned report has revealed that the country’s military intelligence service, the MIVD, played no role in the decision, earlier this month, to attempt an evacuation operation by helicopter near the Libyan city of Sirte. The reason is because the evacuation took place on a Sunday, and requests for intelligence went unnoticed at MIVD headquarters.

News you may have missed #484

  • Analysis: CIA may face reduced role in Pakistan after murder row. People familiar with the views of the Pakistani government say that, as part of the deal for the freeing of CIA operative Raymond Davis, the CIA agreed to give Pakistan more credit for its role in counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan, to cut back on US spying in Pakistan and to keep Pakistani authorities better informed of CIA activities.
  • Lebanese Army dismantles Israeli spying device. The Lebanese Army has dismantled an Israeli electronic spy device after receiving a tip-off from members of Hezbollah, according to reports from south Lebanon. This is not the first such reported incident. More pictures of the device are posted here.
  • Exhibition commemorates Soviet spy legend. An exhibition, dedicated to the 100th birth anniversary of legendary Soviet intelligence agent Nikolai Kuznetsov has opened in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. Kuznetsov uncovered German plans to launch a massive tank attack in Ukraine’s Kursk region, as well as an operation to assassinate Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill in Tehran in 1943.

Pakistan releases CIA operative in ‘carefully choreographed’ deal [updated]

Raymond Allen Davis

Raymond Davis

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Pakistani groups had warned of “Egyptian-style protests” if CIA operative Raymond Allen Davis was released from detention, so his release earlier today, which hardly surprised intelligence observers, appears to have been arranged so as to limit its feared political spillover. In a move that The Washington Post described as “carefully choreographed”, Islamabad handed Davis to the Americans, while the latter thanked the families of the two men killed by Davis for “their generosity” in forgiving him. The exchange was announced later in the day, so by the time it made the rounds on Pakistani media, it was after nightfall, and too late to organize street protests. Some violent clashes between police and demonstrators were reported in Lahore (where the killings took place), but the streets other Pakistani cities appear to be generally quiet. Davis, who was charged with murder by a Pakistani court earlier this year, appears to have been freed after the US agreed to give $700,000 to the families of each of his two victims. The total cost to the US behind Davis’ deal may be as high as $2.3 million (update: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  has said the US “did not pay compensation” for Davis’ release). Read more of this post

US reducing spy presence in Pakistan, say papers

Pakistan

Pakistan

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Several Pakistani publications report that the United States has suspended some of its intelligence operations in Pakistan and is pulling several of its operatives out of the country. The Islamabad-based Express-Tribune, which is partnered with The International Herald Tribune (the global edition of The New York Times), says that the US move is designed to pre-empt an ongoing investigation by Pakistani authorities into the whereabouts and activities of hundreds of US diplomats in several of the country’s regions. According to the paper, Pakistan’s foreign ministry is in the process of conducting its first detailed investigation into the US diplomatic community in Pakistan in almost three years. The ministry has told the Express Tribune that it has detected 851 Americans operating in Pakistan with diplomatic immunity, of whom nearly 300 “are not working in a diplomatic capacity”. The paper also cites sources inside Pakistan’s ministry of the interior, which claim that as many as 414 American diplomats operating in Pakistan are members of the US intelligence community. Over 40 US intelligence operatives have allegedly left the country or have completely suspended their activities in recent weeks. Read more of this post

Media concealed agent’s CIA capacity at US request

Raymond Allen Davis

Raymond Davis

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Several American news outlets withheld information about the CIA capacity of a US citizen who was arrested in Pakistan last month after killing two men. Raymond Allen Davis (note: this may not be his real name), who holds a United States diplomatic passport, was detained in Lahore on January 25, after using an unregistered Glock semi-automatic pistol to shoot dead two men, who he says tried to assault him. There has been intense speculation about Davis’ professional capacity, with many observers suspecting he works in intelligence. His CIA role was confirmed earlier this week by British newspaper The Guardian, which cited officials in Pakistan and the US in revealing that Davis, 36, is “beyond a shadow of a doubt” an employee of the CIA. Shortly after that revelation, three US-based news outlets, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Associated Press, confirmed Davis’ CIA credentials, saying that they had been aware of them for weeks. The Times and the Post both suggested that they decided to consciously suppress Davis’ CIA role after the Obama administration told them that not doing so would endanger the CIA operative’s life. Read more of this post

American held in Pakistan is acting CIA station chief

Raymond Allen Davis

Raymond Davis

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A British and a Pakistani newspaper have confirmed that an American diplomat, who is being held in Pakistan for killing two armed men in Lahore, is in reality an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency. On January 25, former US Special Forces member Raymond Allen Davis (note: this may not be his real name) used an unregistered Glock semi-automatic pistol to shoot dead two passengers on a motorcycle, who he says tried to assault him while he was driving his car in Pakistan’s second largest city. Witnesses say Davis shot dead the one of the two men by firing ten shots from inside his vehicle, before stepping outside to shoot the second man as he was running away from the scene of the crime. Pakistani authorities say Davis’ claim to self-defense is discredited by the fact that the second man’s body was found almost 10 meters away from the motorcycle, bearing bullet wounds in his back. A third individual was struck and run over by a car carrying several armed Americans, whom Pakistanis say were also CIA operatives. The latter have since returned to the United States, according to Pakistani officials. Soon after Davis’ arrest, US President Barack Obama insisted that Pakistani authorities had illegally captured a “US consulate worker” of an “administrative and technical” capacity, attached to the US consulate in Lahore. Read more of this post

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